Raloxifene as an adjunctive treatment for postmenopausal women with schizophrenia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Estrogen treatment may enhance the recovery of schizophrenia in women. However, adverse effects on uterine and breast tissue and other physical side effects may limit the long-term therapeutic use of estrogen. Raloxifene hydrochloride is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that acts as an estrogen antagonist in breast tissue and may have agonistic actions in the brain, potentially offering mental health benefits with few estrogenic side effects. To provide an indication of the potential therapeutic dose for raloxifene hydrochloride in postmenopausal women with schizophrenia, this study pools data from an ongoing randomized controlled trial of adjunctive 120 mg/day oral raloxifene hydrochloride (n=13) versus oral placebo (n=13), with data from a previous pilot study administering 60 mg/day raloxifene hydrochloride (n=9). Analysis of variance found significant interaction effects for total (p=.01) and general (p=.02) Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) symptomatology. Participants randomized to receive 120 mg/day raloxifene hydrochloride experienced a significantly more rapid recovery of total and general psychotic symptoms compared to both 60 mg/day raloxifene hydrochloride and placebo. The demonstrated benefit of adjunctive treatment with 120 mg/day raloxifene hydrochloride offers support for the potential role of this selective estrogen receptor modulator in treating postmenopausal women with schizophrenia.